I can't tell you how excited I am to have been selected to attend a NASA Social event featuring the fourth launch of SpaceX's Dragon capsule to resupply ISS. After seeing what my friend Ernie was able to experience during his NASA Social trip, I knew I had to do one, and here's my chance.
What makes this trip to the Space Coast extra special for me is the homecoming feeling this trip has taken on over the last few weeks.
Growing up in South Florida, the space program was always prominently featured in school. In 6th grade our class had a unique opportunity to drive up to Titusville and experience a one day version of Space Camp. We had a lot of fun on that trip. During the bus tour portion I specifically remember passing a launchpad that had a Shuttle positioned and ready to launch within the next few days.
Prior to that 6th grade trip, in the mid to late 80s, my family would often visit my grandmother who lived in Titusville. Every once in a while we'd sit in her house and notice the windows begin to rattle just a bit. We all knew that meant NASA was launching a Shuttle that day.
We have another family member that worked for a NASA contractor doing quality control for the engines built for the Shuttles. We celebrated his 80th birthday this summer.
Later, in the 1990's when living in Miami, I vividly remember my family driving out of town to see the Shuttle travel across the sky during a night launch. It was amazing we could see a launch from that distance.
NASA and space travel was always an intriguing subject growing up. Getting a chance to go back to Titusville almost 20 years after my last visit for an even greater in-depth look at the space program is more than I could ever ask for. I can't wait!